Picks and Pans Review: One of a Kind

updated 03/31/1986 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 03/31/1986 AT 01:00 AM EST

Don Joseph

Following a brief ascendancy in the '40s and '50s, when he played in the big bands of Buddy Rich and Lucky Millinder and later with Gerry Mulligan, cornetist Don Joseph hied himself to Staten Island, where he teaches and occasionally performs. This first recording in nearly 30 years shows him to be an expressive player who gives the impression of eschewing the extremes of the cornet's range for the fat, taffy-like middle. His Staten Island students should study his lip and breath control. His notes are delicately placed and tacky in the nonpejorative sense, like the surface of a freshly painted wall. Picking up on the leader's sound, drummer Joey Barron thwaps and shuffles, using brushes extensively instead of sticks. The band includes two colleagues who worked with Joseph in the '50s—virtuoso bassist Red Mitchell and the musingly melodic pianist Bill Triglia. Venerable tenor saxophonist Al Cohn, as biting and nuanced as ever, is the yeast in the mix, keeping the dough rising at all times. (Uptown)

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